top of page
Newsletter 2022-23

Hello Friends,


It’s been a while since I have checked in and I wanted to update you on happenings at People with Disabilities Succeeding. 


We FINALLY got our health and safety increase, and all of the staff are starting at $24.00 per hour. We also got the transportation increase and will be able to purchase a van for people with mobility issues. 


We are fully staffed with a wonderful team. Tenzin Chokphel recently left to study to be a nurse. Nick D. will be leaving at the end of the summer. Two of our newest staff, Monlam and Ogyen are both Tibetan, from India. They are both doing super well already, and we feel blessed to have them. Monlam was a Buddhist monk for 20 years and he is leading guided meditation and mindfulness activities for us in the Odd Fellows lodge. Darren is back in person which is super exciting and fun. He is so great at lading classes and bringing vigor and energy to the Friend Zone as part of the management team. He still leads pep talk on Zoom every morning and offers online activities for people on Zoom into the Friend Zone when they are home sick. We use Zoom and the big TV upstairs as a mirror during dance classes and exercise.


Windy Creath, a former kindergarten teacher works with us a couple of times a week, teaching academic skills and leading fun activities in the art room.


Community Care Licensing is off our backs, and they accepted that The Friend Zone is just a club house for hanging out and not a site where active “programming” is going on. Phew! It feels good to know we won’t be getting any more intrusive, unannounced visits from them.


Construction by the Odd Fellows is underway for new offices for Shirley, Jarrod and me, next door to The Friend Zone. We are also building a nice, handicapped accessible bathroom for us. It’s a little crazy, with all the work going on and we are currently using some porta-potties outdoors.


The new office will have a utility room for laundry and storage. Once construction is completed, we will start our snack cart business to facilitate more employment and interactions with the public. We will also install more benches, tables, and chairs out front, creating opportunities for al fresco dining and socialization.


We are currently not doing any Covid testing because we are not sure of insurance will cover it anymore now that the state of emergency is over. Luckily, we barely see any cases anymore and almost zero spread during program hours. Most people do not wear masks anymore, though we certainly have them on hand for anyone that wants them. We are also continuing to encourage hand washing and have air purifiers and hand sanitizer at The Friend Zone. 


Life is really good. I created this video to illustrate PDS as it looks now in 2023. Please enjoy:


You can follow People with Disabilities Succeeding at:


PDS website:

PDS Vimeo Channel: PDS

YouTube channel:

PDS Facebook Page:

Lisa Giraldi

PDS Founder and Executive Director

bottom of page